Personal Finance Software

Account Xpress Tutorial

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Tutorial Introduction

Account Xpress is simple to use. However, in order to really understand and fully take advantage of its functionality, it is preferable to clearly understand its basic concepts.

This tutorial will help you understand those concepts through a series of exercises that are presented in a logical sequence where the completion of one exercise prepares you for the next one. After completing all the exercises, you will have experimented with the most important features in Account Xpress and should have a very good understanding of its concepts.

NOTE: This tutorial is not intended to teach you how to use Windows, it assumes that you are already familiar with basic Windows concepts.

A few Tips

Here are a few tips that will help you use Account Xpress and work through the tutorial in a more efficient way.

  • The main window in Account Xpress is divided into two main panes; the left pane and the right pane. The left pane contains a tree view and the right pane contents change according to the tree node selected in the tree view.
  • Most dialogs in Account Xpress have context sensitive help that provides general information about the dialog itself as well as a description of the items presented on the dialog forms. For general help about a dialog, click the Help button (bottom-right corner). For the description of a specific item on a form, click the question mark (?) button in the title bar, then click that item.
  • To find out what action is performed by a tool bar button, position the cursor over that button temporarily (without clicking it) and a short description (hint) will appear. The short description often includes a key combination that can be used as a shortcut to perform the same action.
  • In most dialogs, pressing Enter is equivalent to clicking OK, Next or Finish, and pressing Esc is equivalent to clicking Cancel of Close.
Tutorial Use Case

In this tutorial you will help John, a 32-year old bachelor, with managing his personal finances using Account Xpress. You will help him keep track of his income and expenses, and reconcile his bank account statements. You will create a new file and all the accounts, categories, sub-categories and payees that he needs to keep track of his financial activities.

NOTE: In order to provide the right practice without making it too extensive, we have adequately simplified John's financial activities.

Exercise 1 - Creating a new Account Xpress file

At this point, we are assuming that Account Xpress is already installed on your computer. If Account Xpress is not yet installed on your computer, please click here for a download link and installation instructions. Once Account Xpress is installed on your computer, come back to this tutorial to continue.

In Account Xpress, all data (i.e. accounts, transactions, etc.) are stored in a file with a .acx extension by default. Generally, one Account Xpress data file per household should be sufficient unless the occupants want to keep track of their personal finances independently from each other for personal reasons. In this exercise, you will create a new Account Xpress data file for John (our 32-year old bachelor) as follows:

  1. Start Account Xpress if it is not already running.
  2. By default, each time Account Xpress starts, a Welcome window is displayed, allowing you to either create a new file or open an existing one. In this case, select 'Create a new Account Xpress file' and click OK. If you already have a file opened in Account Xpress, save your changes (if necessary) and then choose 'File > New' to create a new file for John. Either way, the File Creation Wizard is then displayed.
  3. Let's assume that John lives in the United States so that his local currency should be the US dollar. On the Local Currency page of the File Creation Wizard, select 'United States Dollar (USD)' and click Next.
    NOTE: Please make sure that your own local currency is selected when you create your own Account Xpress data file. Once the local currency is set for a file, it can not be changed for that file at a later time.
  4. The next page (Password) allows you to password protect and encrypt the new file. Since we are not planning to save any sensitive information in John's file for now, leave the password fields blank and click Next.
  5. Click Finish.

At this point, the file has been created in memory (RAM), but is not yet saved to disk. That is why the file name appears as Untitled in the title bar. To save the file to disk:

  1. Choose 'File > Save' or press <Ctrl + S> to display the Save As dialog.
  2. You can change the file location (Save in) to a location of your choice or accept the default location.
  3. In the 'File name' box, type John Tutorial.
  4. Click Save.

Observe how the full path of the file is now displayed in the title bar.

Finally, you want this file to be saved automatically whenever you close it (i.e. when you open a different file, create a new one, or quit Account Xpress):

  1. Choose File from the main menu.
  2. Click 'Auto Save' (if there is not already a check mark next to it).
  3. Choose 'File > Save' or press <Ctrl + S> to save your changes.
Exercise 2 - Updating the Default Period

Instead of showing all existing data in a file, which over time would be useless and cumbersome, Account Xpress only displays data for a specific period at a time, which you can change any time as needed. When you open a file in Account Xpress, its selected period is set to a default start and end date (the default period), which you can also change as needed. Originally (when you create a new file), the default period of a file is set to start two months prior to the current date and to end on the current date.

For this tutorial, assume that you want the default period for John's data file to include six months ending at the end of the current month as follows:

  1. Choose 'File > Default period'.
  2. Change the default period settings to 'Last 5 months' and 'Include the current month up to the end of the month'.
  3. Click OK.

Observe how the currently selected period itself has NOT yet been affected by the change to the default period. But the new default period will be selected automatically the next time the file is opened. To select the default period immediately, click the drop-down arrow next to the period button in the Identification bar (top of the right pane) and select 'Default period'.

Exercise 3 - Creating Accounts

Account Xpress can handle any number of accounts but to keep this tutorial simple, assume that John has only three accounts described as follows:

Account Name Account Type Opening
Balance Date
Opening
Balance
CO-OPCheckingDecember 31, 2016$2,548.15
AmexCredit CardJanuary 9, 2017-$387.56
CashCashFebruary 25, 2017$87.50

To create the first account in the list (CO-OP):

  1. Choose 'Accounts > New'. The Account Creation Wizard is then displayed.
  2. On the Account or Sub-Account page, select 'Account' and click Next.
  3. For the account name, enter CO-OP and click Next.
  4. For the account type, select 'Checking' and click Next.
  5. For the account currency, assume that John's accounts are all in his local currency, which should be selected by default and click Next.
  6. Set the balance date to December 31, 2016, the balance amount to 2548.15 (without a dollar sign or thousands separator) and then click Next.
  7. Verify that your account details appear as expected and click Finish.
  8. Select the Accounts node in the tree view (left pane) and the Account List tab in the right pane if they are not not already selected.

At this point, you should see some information in the right pane about the newly created account. Please take a minute to review that information. You may notice that the credit limit (CR Limit column) is set to zero, which is the default value for any new account created. You will see in the next exercise how to change the credit limit. You will also see how to change other account values that are not shown in the account list in order to keep it from getting cluttered unnecessarily.

Now if you click the plus sign (+) next to the Accounts node in the tree view (left pane) to expand it, you will see a new node for the CO-OP account that you just created. If you then select (click) that account node, you can see its transaction list in the right pane with one transaction (i.e. the Opening Balance transaction), which Account Xpress created automatically using the Opening Balance values (date and amount) that you provided when you created that account.

Create the other two accounts from the list above as follows:

  1. Choose 'Accounts > New'.
  2. Select 'Account' and click Next.
  3. For the account name, enter Amex and click Next.
  4. For the account type, select 'Credit Card' and click Next.
  5. For the account currency, select 'United States Dollar (USD)' and click Next.
  6. Set the balance date to January 9, 2017, the balance amount to -387.56 (don't forget the minus sign since the credit card balance is negative) and click Next.
  7. Verify the new account details and click Finish.
  8. Choose 'Accounts > New'.
  9. Select 'Account' and click Next.
  10. For the account name, enter Cash and click Next.
  11. For the account type, select 'Cash' and click Next.
  12. For the account currency, select 'United States Dollar (USD)' and click Next.
  13. Set the balance date to February 25, 2017, the balance amount to 87.50 and click Next.
  14. Verify the new account details and click Finish.
  15. Choose 'File > Save' or press <Ctrl + S> to save your changes.

Take some time to verify how the newly created accounts appear in the account list and how an opening balance transaction was automatically created for each of them using the information provided in the steps above.

When you create new accounts in your own file, simply use your most recent financial statements to get the accounts opening balance and date. For your Cash account, use the current date and the amount of cash that you have on hand at that time as your opening balance date and opening balance amount respectively.

Exercise 4 - Modifying Accounts

In the previous exercise, you created three accounts in John's data file. While creating those accounts, you did set a few values for them (i.e. the account name, account type and account currency). In reality, there are many other useful values that can be set for an account. In this exercise, you will change the credit limit for John's Amex credit card account.

Assume that the credit limit on John's Amex credit card is $3,000. Before you change the credit limit on that account, select the Accounts node in the tree view (left pane) and observe how the credit limit (CR Limit) and available credit (Available CR) appear as 0.00 and (387.56) respectively for the Amex account in the right pane. Note that the parenthesis around the available credit amount represent a negative value, which also appears in red to indicate that the available credit for that account has been exceeded. Fix this problem by changing the credit limit for the Amex account as follows:

  1. In the tree view (left pane), expand (click the + sign next to) the Accounts node if it is not already expanded.
  2. Right-click the Amex node and choose Edit from the popup menu.
  3. On the General Page of the Account Properties dialog, set the Credit Limit to 3000 (without a dollar sign or thousands separator).
  4. Click OK.
  5. Choose 'File > Save' or press <Ctrl + S> to save your changes.

Now select the Accounts node again in the tree view (if not already selected) and observe how the credit limit and available credit values now appear as 3,000.00 and 2,612.44 respectively for the Amex account. This is telling us that based on its current balance and credit limit, John can still charge up to $2,612.44 (3000 - 387.56) to his Amex credit card without exceeding his credit limit.

TIP: The credit limit value of an account has another useful purpose. Some banks will drop their basic monthly service fee if you keep your checking account balance over a certain amount. When that is the case, you can set the credit limit for that account as the negative value of that amount and Account Xpress will automatically display the available credit amount in red whenever the account balance drops below that value.

BONUS: Right-click one of the account nodes in the tree view and choose Edit. Then take a few minutes to explore the different pages and fields that are available in the Account Properties dialog. Most field values are optional, but could be useful for tracking additional information about each account if desired. Click Cancel to close the Account Properties dialog when you are done.

Exercise 5 - Organizing Budget Categories

Budget Categories are special accounts that allow you to keep track of your income (revenue) and expenses. They allow you to see not only where your money is coming from, but more importantly where it goes. They also give you the ability to create a budget plan and see how it compares to your actual income and expenses (i.e. Actuals versus Budget).

Just like folders on your hard drive can have sub-folders, budget categories in Account Xpress can also have sub-categories. The Budget Categories node in the tree view is the root node of a hierarchical structure of budget categories where a budget category can be split into one or more sub-categories, which can also be split into even further sub-categories, and so on. The terms category and budget category can be used interchangeably to represent a budget category at any level in that hierarchical structure.

When you create a new file in Account Xpress, a default set of budget categories is created automatically for you under the Budget Categories node in the tree view. This has for purpose to give you an idea of the kind of categories you may need and to give you a head-start on creating those categories. Since different people have different kinds of income and expenses, you almost certainly will want to update the default categories according to your own needs and preferences.

In this exercise, you will change the default set of income and expense categories as per John's requirements. First, John doesn't have a home phone and also prefers to record all his bank charges directly under Bank Charges instead of using its sub-categories (i.e. Bank Charges\Interest and Bank Charges\Services). Therefore, we need to delete the Bank Charges\Interest, Bank Charges\Services and Bills\Telephone budget categories as follows:

  1. In the tree view (left pane), expand (click the + sign next to) the Budget Categories node if it is not already expanded.
  2. Expand the Bank Charges budget category.
  3. Under Bank Charges, right-click the Interest sub-category and choose Delete.
  4. Click Yes to confirm.
  5. Still under Bank Charges, right-click the Services sub-category and choose Delete.
  6. Click Yes to confirm.
  7. Expand the Bills budget category.
  8. Under Bills, right-click the Telephone sub-category and choose Delete.
  9. Click Yes to confirm.

In addition to paying income tax, John also pays employment insurance premiums, both being deducted automatically from his pay checks. For reporting purposes, John would like to see both deductions as separate sub-categories of a Salary Deductions main category.

The Income Tax budget category was already created as part of the set of default categories when the file was created. But you need to create a Salary Deductions main category and an EI Premiums sub-category, then move the Income Tax category as a sub-category of the Salary Deductions main category newly created. Start by creating the Salary Deductions main category:

  1. Choose 'Categories > New' from the main menu to display the Category Creation Wizard.
  2. Select 'Main category' and click Next.
  3. For the category name, enter Salary Deductions, then click Next.
  4. Leave the budget type as Expense and the budget amount as zero for now and click Next.
  5. Click Finish.

The Salary Deductions main category is now created. Next, create the EI Premiums sub-category:

  1. Choose 'Categories > New' from the main menu to display the Category Creation Wizard.
  2. Select 'Sub-Category of', then select 'Salary Deductions' from the list of categories and click Next.
  3. For the category name, enter EI Premiums and click Next.
  4. Leave the budget type as Expense and the budget amount as zero and click Next.
  5. Click Finish to create the new sub-category.

If it's not already expanded, click the plus sign (+) next to the Salary Deductions category node in the tree view to expand it. You should now see the EI Premiums sub-category under the Salary Deductions main category.

Next, move the Income Tax category as a sub-category of Salary Deductions:

  1. Drag the Income Tax category node in the tree view from its current position and drop it over the Salary Deductions category node.
  2. Click Yes to confirm.
  3. Choose 'File > Save' or press <Ctrl + S> to save your changes.

The Income Tax budget category should now appear as a sub-category under Salary Deductions.

When you organize your own budget categories, start by deleting any categories that you don't need. Then add any missing categories that you do need. You can also rename any existing category as per your own preferences. To rename a budget category, simply right-click it in the tree view, choose Edit from the popup menu, set the Category Name as per your own preference and click OK.

Exercise 6 - Creating Transactions

Now that you have created some accounts and organized John's categories, you are ready to create some transactions. In this exercise you will create four transactions; two expenses, one transfer and one split (a combination of income and expenses in this case).

Start with an expense transaction to show how John paid his electricity bill for December 2016 to the amount of $146.35 with a cheque from his CO-OP account (number 254) post-dated January 10, 2017 as follows:

  1. Choose 'Transactions > New > Expense' or press <Crtl + X>.
  2. Set the expense transaction details as follows:
    Date:January 10, 2017
    From:CO-OP
    To:Bills\Electricity
    Description:Hydro bill for the month of December 2016
    Reference:254
    Amount:146.35
    Payee:(Regular) NorthWestern Energy
  3. Click OK.
  4. Click Yes to start the creation of the new payee NorthWestern Energy.
  5. Verify that the payee type is 'Regular' and click Next.
  6. Verify that the payee name is 'NorthWestern Energy' and click Next.
  7. Click Finish to create the new regular payee NorthWestern Energy.

Create another expense transaction to show how John used his credit card to pay for his groceries on January 20, 2017 to the amount of $61.78:

  1. Choose 'Transactions > New > Expense' or press <Ctrl + X>.
  2. Set the expense transaction details as follows:
    Date:January 20, 2017
    From:Amex
    To:Food\Groceries
    Description:Groceries
    Reference:(none, delete if necessary)
    Amount:61.78
    Payee:(Regular) Safeway.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Click Yes to start the creation of the new payee Safeway.
  5. Verify that the payee type is 'Regular' and click Next.
  6. Verify that the payee name is 'Safeway' and click Next.
  7. Click Finish to create the new regular payee Safeway.

Then create a transfer transaction to show how John paid his Amex owing balance with a cheque from his CO-OP account (number 255) post-dated January 28, 2017.
NOTE: The kind of transaction that you need to create in this case is a Transfer (not an Expense). An expense generally means that you are getting something (product or service) in exchange for a certain amount of money. When you pay the owing balance of a Credit Card account, you are actually transferring money from one account to another (e.g. from your checking account to your credit card account). Create this transaction as follows:

  1. Choose 'Transactions > New > Transfer' or press <Ctrl + T> to start a new transfer transaction.
  2. Set the transfer transaction details as follows:
    Date:January 28, 2017
    From:CO-OP
    To:Amex
    Description:Amex statement of January 9, 2017
    Reference:255
    Amount:387.56
  3. Click OK.

A split transaction can be any combination of income, expenses and/or transfers. To record John's salary income for the two weeks ending January 27, 2017, you need to create a split transaction that includes one account (CO-OP), one income category (Salary Income) and 2 expense categories (Salary Deductions\Income Tax and Salary Deductions\EI Premiums) as follows:

  1. Choose 'Transactions > New > Income' or press <Ctrl + I>.
  2. Click the Split button.
  3. Click the Category ( Income / Expense ) radio button.
  4. Select 'Salary Income' from the list of categories (right below the Category radio button).
  5. Set the amount to 2086.94 and click From.
  6. Select 'Salary Deductions\Income Tax' from the list of categories.
  7. Set the amount to 625.80 and click To.
  8. Select 'Salary Deductions\EI Premiums' from the list of categories.
  9. Set the amount to 18.50 and click To.
  10. Click the Account radio button.
  11. Select 'CO-OP' from the list of accounts.
  12. Delete the value in the Reference field and click To.
  13. Optional - Drag the separator below the split items list down to increase its height and better see its content.
  14. Set the date to January 27, 2017.
  15. Verify that the payer type 'Regular' is selected.
  16. Set the description to Salary income for 2 weeks ending January 27, 2017.
  17. Set the Payer name to ABC Manufacturing.
  18. By default, a payee amount should be equal to the sum of amounts assigned to the budget categories used in the transaction. But in this case, the payer is contributing the whole amount of the transaction. Set the payer amount (next to the payer field) to 2086.94.
  19. Click OK.
  20. Click Yes to start the creation of the new payer ABC Manufacturing.
  21. Verify that the payer type is 'Regular' and click Next.
  22. Verify that the payer name is 'ABC Manufacturing' and click Next.
  23. Click Finish to create the new payer ABC Manufacturing.
  24. Choose 'File > Save' or press <Ctrl + S> to save your changes.

Take a little time to see how the transactions just created appear in the transaction list of their respective accounts, budget categories and payers/ payees.

Exercise 7 - Creating Transaction Series

A transaction series is a set of similar transactions created at once such as the payment of the rent with a series of post-dated checks. Where applicable, creating a transaction series is much faster than creating the same set of transactions one at a time. In this exercise, you will create a transaction series for John.

In order to save time, instead of writing one check at the beginning of each month, John writes a series of 12 post-dated checks once a year to pay for his rent. To make this even more realistic, let's say that John wrote his last series of post-dated checks for his rent a couple of months ago and that two of those checks have already been cashed. The next check number in that series is 242. Create a transaction series to record the last 10 checks in that series as follows:

  1. Choose 'Transactions > New > Expense' or press <Ctrl + X> as if you were writing a single expense transaction.
  2. Set the expense transaction details as follows:
    Date:January 1, 2017
    From:CO-OP
    Category:Bills\Rent
    Reference:242
    Amount:750
    Payee:(Regular) ACME Management
  3. Leave the Description field as is for now, you will change it in a following step.
  4. Click the Series check box in the bottom left corner of the form. The OK button changes to Next.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Click Yes to start the creation of the new payee ACME Management.
  7. Verify that the payee type is 'Regular' and click Next.
  8. Verify that the payee name is 'ACME Management' and click Next.
  9. Click Finish to create the new payee ACME Management.
  10. On the Repeat Cycle page, set the repeat frequency to Repeat transaction every 1 month.
  11. Leave the On the... check box unchecked.
  12. Verify that the starting date is January 1, 2017.
  13. Verify that the For option is selected.
  14. Change the number of months from 12 to 10 (i.e. only 10 more checks to go in this series).
  15. Click Next.
  16. The Description Mask page allows you to set a different description for each transaction in the series using variables that change from one transaction occurrence to the next. Under Mask Variables set the Next Occurrence Number to 3 (i.e. the first two checks have already been cashed).
  17. Set the Description mask field to Rent for the month of &MMMM; &YYYY; (&Occ#; of &#ofOcc;).

    Observe how the Mask Rendering field replaces the variable names with their respective value for the first/ next occurrence in the series. It should display 'Rent for the month of January 2017 (3 of 12)' at this point.

    TIP: The 'Insert Variable into Mask' button can help you enter the variable names. For example, with the cursor at the proper position in the Description Mask field, instead of typing &MMMM; in the field, you can click 'Insert Variable into Mask' and select 'MMMM - ( January .. December )' from the list.
  18. Click Next.
  19. Click Finish.
  20. Choose 'File > Save' or press <Ctrl + S> to save your changes.

If you select the CO-OP account node in the tree view, you should now see the first few rent payment transactions of the newly created transaction series in the transaction list in the right pane. The other transactions in that series have also been created, but you don't see them in the list at this point as their respective date is outside of the currently selected period.

Exercise 8 - Creating Transaction Generators

Some transactions such as car payments, rent or mortgage payments, insurance premiums payments, and many more are repetitive in nature. With the exception of a few of their easily computable values, those transactions hardly ever change from one occurrence to the next. Since their changing values can easily be calculated between occurrences, you can save a fair amount of time by letting Account Xpress create those repetitive transactions automatically for you at the right time with the use of transaction generators.

Assume that John has authorized his cable service provider to charge his credit card directly to pay for his cable service payment every month. His monthly bill total amount is $59.64 US and is due on the 10th of each month. Create a transaction generator that will automatically create a new cable bill payment transaction on the 10th of each month starting on February 10, 2017 as follows:

  1. Choose 'Generators > New'.
  2. Set the new transaction generator details as follows:
    Transaction Type:Expense
    Date:February 10, 2017
    From:Amex
    Category:Bills\Cable
    Reference:AUTHDB (stands for Authorized Debit)
    Amount:59.64
    Payee:(Regular) Comcast
  3. Leave the Description field as is for now, you will change it in a following step.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Click Yes to start the creation of the new payee Comcast.
  6. Verify that the payee type is 'Regular' and click Next.
  7. Verify that the payee name is 'Comcast' and click Next.
  8. Click Finish to create the new payee Comcast.
  9. Verify that the Repeat Cycle details are set to 'Repeat transaction every 1 month, starting on February 10, 2017, Indefinitely'.
  10. Click Next.
  11. Verify that the Date field under Mask Variables is set to February 10, 2017.
  12. Set the Description mask field to Cable TV bill payment for the month of &MMMM; &YYYY;.

    Observe how the Mask rendering box replaces the variable names in the Description mask with the month and year currently selected in the Date field under Mask Variables. As new transactions are generated by this transaction generator, the description of those transactions will also change to match the proper month and year according to the repeat cycle selected in step 9 above.

    TIP: The 'Insert Variable into Mask' button can help you enter the variable names. For example, with the cursor in the proper position in the Description Mask field, instead of typing &MMMM;, you can click 'Insert Variable into Mask' and select 'MMMM - ( January .. December )' from the list.
  13. Click Next.
  14. Verify your entries and click Finish.
  15. Choose 'File > Save' or press <Ctrl + S> to save your changes.

At this point, if you select the Transaction Generators node in the tree view (left pane), you should see the new transaction generator that you just created in the list in the right pane. To modify a transaction generator, simply double-click it in the list.

From this point on, each time this file is opened, Account Xpress will check this transaction generator and automatically create any missing cable bill payment transactions up to the current date if necessary. You can also get transaction generators to generate transaction occurences ahead of time by selecting the generator(s) in the list and then choosing 'Generators > Generate now'.

Exercise 9 - Creating and Using Transaction Templates

Not all repetitive transactions are good candidates for transaction generators. Let's take grocery shopping for example. Although many of the details of those transactions are often repeated from one occurrence to the next, their amount and frequency is not consistent enough for them to be automatically created by transaction generators, leaving you no choice but to enter them manually instead.

Fortunately, transaction templates simplify the process of entering those repetitive transactions by entering all the repetitive details automatically with a couple of clicks of the mouse, leaving you with the only task of entering the non-repetitive details such as the transaction amount and maybe also the transaction date.

Assuming that John usually does his groceries at Safeway once a week, which he pays for with his Amex credit card. Create a transaction template that will save him time whenever he has to record a groceries transaction as follows:

  1. Choose 'Templates > New'.
  2. Set the new transaction template details as follows:
    Transaction Type:Expense
    From:Amex
    Category:Food\Groceries
    Description:Groceries
    Payee:(Regular) Safeway
  3. Click Next.
  4. For the template name, type Groceries.
  5. Click Finish.

At this point, if you select the Transaction Templates node in the tree view (left pane), you should see the transaction template that you just created in the list in the right pane. To modify a transaction template, simply double-click it in the list. If you choose 'Transactions > New', you will also see that the Groceries transaction template appears as a menu option. All transaction templates that you create in your file will appear as menu options under 'Transactions > New'.

To use a transaction template is also very simple. Now that we have a transaction template for John's groceries, let's use it to create a new groceries transaction.

  1. Choose 'Transactions > New > Groceries'. See how the transaction template has already selected the transaction type (Expense), the paying account (Amex), the expense category (Food\Groceries), the description (Groceries) and the payee (Safeway).
  2. Change the date to January 27, 2017.
  3. Set the amount to 64.95.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Choose 'File > Save' or press <Ctrl + S> to save your changes.

Now you can see how a transaction template can save you a lot of time. Note that when using a transaction template, just because some selections are made by default to save you time, that does mean that you can not change them as needed. For example, if John had used a different payment method or did his groceries at a different supermarket for a change, he could still have used the Groceries transaction template and then changed those specific entries as needed.

Exercise 10 - Account Reconciliation

One of the great features in Account Xpress is the ability to reconcile each account with the account statement that you get from your financial institution (or passbook that you update periodically) for that account. In this exercise, we will assume that John has received his CO-OP account statement for the period of January 1 to January 31, 2017. The information on John's statement appears as follows:

DATE DESCRIPTION DEBITS CREDITS BALANCE
Jan 01Balance forward2,548.15
Jan 01Check# 242750.001,798.15
Jan 10Check# 254146.351,651.80
Jan 27Deposit1,442.643,094.44
Jan 28Check# 255387.562,706.88

Reconcile this statement of account with John's CO-OP account in Account Xpress as follows:

  1. In the tree view (left pane), expand (click the + sign next to) the Accounts node if it is not already expanded.
  2. Select (click) the CO-OP account node under the Accounts node.
  3. In the right pane, select the Transaction List page (if not already selected).
  4. Verify that the last transaction in the list having its Cleared flag set to Yes also has its Clear Balance amount equal to the 'Balance forward' amount as it appears in the monthly statement information in the table above.
  5. For each entry that appears in the list above:
    1. Find and select (click once) the equivalent transaction in the CO-OP transaction list in Account Xpress.
    2. Press <Space> to clear it (the Cleared flag should change from No to Yes).
  6. Verify that the last transaction in the list having its Cleared flag set to Yes also has its Clear Balance amount equal to the final balance as it appears in the last entry in the list above. If both amounts match, then the reconciliation is complete. Otherwise, please verify that all the transactions created earlier in this tutorial have been entered correctly and compare your last cleared balance again.
  7. Choose 'File > Save' or press <Ctrl + S> to save your changes.

It is common to see some transactions on your financial statements that have not yet been entered in Account Xpress when you do a reconciliation. For example, your checking account statement may show some valid service charges that you will have to enter into Account Xpress in order to complete your reconciliation. You should not however enter any questionnable transactions that appear on your statement without first confirming their validity with your financial institution. It is easy to forget about certain transactions, but there is always a possibility for fraudulent or otherwise unauthorized transactions to appear on your financial statements as well, which should be reported as such to your financial institution as soon as possible.

Also, some transactions on your financial statements may have a different date than their equivalent transactions in Account Xpress. This is normal given the fact that it can take some time for a financial institution to process a transaction for various reasons. You should not worry about modifying the date of those transactions in Account Xpress. As long as the final balance on your financial statement matches the balance on the last cleared transaction in Account Xpress, there is no need to be concerned.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you have learned the basic concepts required to start using Account Xpress. While the tutorial did not cover all the features available in Account Xpress, it did cover the most important ones that you need in order to start managing your own personal finances.

We hope that you found this tutorial useful. If you have any questions or comments about this tutorial or Account Xpress itself, please visit our support page at http://felitec.com/support/

Thank you for your interest in Account Xpress.